Locust Curve Prediction for 2024
As 2023 draws to a close we begin to consider what 2024 looks like for the real estate market. And one word comes to mind … crazy. And the Locust Curve area of Delaware, Ohio, is not any different.
Crazy is defined as unpredictable, nonconforming, or odd by Dictionary.com. And that describes all my feelings looking at 2024 across all aspects of real estate. The industry was prepared for a very long cold year but in the past few days, a lifeline was tossed thanks to the Federal Reserve (we assume).
Let’s Look at the 2024 Expected Real Estate Trends
- Presidential election year. Historically, the least volatile year for the market is an election year – especially when the incumbent is running. Equities tend to run about 2% below normal returns, while bonds are about 1% below non-election year returns, according to “How Do Elections Affect the Stock Market” on Forbes Advisor. The muted tone in lots is two-fold. There isn’t anyone in the store manning the market if you know what I mean – all the politicians are out raising money and votes. The other is that no one wants to take the chance that the market responds negatively to an adjustment and suddenly you’re the president that cost me money.
- Reduced Interest Rates. With the Federal Reserve cutting the rate of funds, it is expected that mortgage rates could fall 1-2% in 2024. This should ease the pressure on buyer’s budgets — even if only in their mind — from highs of 7% as they see an increase in buying power. The challenge will be that there is still a large portion of the market locked into 2-3% loans that are not prepared to sell unless forced to for reasons beyond their control.
- A glut of buyers. This one can go either way, as those considering selling usually have to have a home to move into. But the reality is that there is a pent-up demand in the market. And when those rates begin to fall they will come back to the market in hordes. Which should result in an increase in inventory on the market and stabilize the market pricing.
- Resetting Commercial Mortgages. This is more a macro effect than directly affecting the residential real estate market. There is a potential meltdown in the commercial sector coming, with Columbus Business First’s “Majority of office CMBS loans projected to struggle to refinance,” 68.6% of CMBS office-based loans were not paid off at maturity. The only commercial asset class to have less than 50% of loans not paid off.
- Limited inventory. How limited is the inventory? There are currently* 3,290 homes for sale in the Columbus Multiple Listing Service. Okay, that seems low but hard to get our heads around. How about only 320 homes in all of Delaware County, Ohio? The number gets even smaller when looking at within the Delaware City corporation limits — 71 units on the market or 0.4% of available housing units — and inside our subdivision only one property is active on the market.
- Rate of funds reduction. The Federal Reserve announced this week that it plans to reduce rates up to six times according to “The Fed will likely cut interest rates 4 times next year as the economy remains resilient” on Business Insider. While on the surface this sounds like a good thing, the challenge is that historically the Federal Reserve cuts rates as a last resort right before a recession overtakes the American economy.
My Educated Guess on What 2024 Will Look Like in Real Estate
Unlike so many years, the predictions are all over the board. Some pundits are talking about an amazing year, while others have this being 2008 all over again.
The one thing, I’m confident about is that both sides are equally wrong. It isn’t going to be an “amazing” year in real estate nor will it be a complete poop show neither. It is going to be an “okay” year with nobody winning or losing.
- Revised Interest Rate Forecasts. The revision by the FED to pause interest rate hikes will lead to more confidence in the market and increased buyer pooler
- Too Many Buyers on the Sidelines. The revised interest rates will reactivate buyers who have gone dormant after experiencing the shock of losing 20% of their buying power essentially overnight.
- Not Enough Inventory. Then wham. We hit the wall of inventory being comparatively low. It has improved – slightly – over the past few months, but the reality is that the homes that are staying on the market are priced too high in these market conditions. So the number of sellable homes continues to dwindle.
- Builder Constraints. With limited inventory, the new build market becomes an extremely valuable opportunity. In the Central Ohio Multiple Listing Service, it is reported that 1/3 of the homes sold are new builds. Unfortunately, from the date you sign the contract, it is 6-8 months before you take delivery of that new home. Is creating constraints in that the speculation home builders can only build so many homes in a given month. The D.R. Hortons, Epcon, etc., are limited to the number of homes they can build in a given year based on worker availability
- An Okay Year With Low Volume. We expect to see home prices flatten out which is good news with the interest rate pause. But in the long run, there will be limited good homes available for purchase and we’ll see one of the smallest volume of real estate sales in recent years.
- One Thing I Know. But the one thing I do know is that Toby Boyce will be here if you need to buy or sell a home in Locust Curve or any other Central Ohio community. I’ve been selling real estate in Delaware for 17 years and lived in Locust Curve for almost 20 years. If you need help or have a question, contact Toby at (419) 618-8629 or [email protected].
‘ *- As of December 6, 2023